tv Hugh Hewitt MSNBC August 12, 2017 5:00am-5:30am PDT
you're a go! you got the green light. that means go! oh, yeah. start saying yes to your company's best ideas. we're gonna hit our launch date! (scream) thank you! goodbye! let us help with money and know-how, so you can get business done. american express open. >> good morning, america, i'm hugh hewitt, on saturday morning, i'm right here on ms nbc. later in the program, one of america's leading defense experts recommend everyone read up with book this summer. it's about the iranian revolutionary guard core t. author joins us later in the program. first, however, i will welcome senator jeff blake, whose new book "the conscience of a
conservative" debuted. a long time member of jesus christ for the latter day saints. he ran the goldwater institute in arizona before beginning his political career. he spent most of 2016 on the sunday shows as a handsful of designated critics of donald trump. now as he rounds into his own election here in arizona, she ramping up that trump criticism in his new book, she a friend of mine. i may have campaigned for him. i have been in so many campaign trips to arizona, i can't recall. i have certainly endorsed him, including his first senate race in which he replaced my favorite senator john kyle who retired. welcome, senator, good to see you. >> thanks, for having me on. >> let's start we are election rates. are you under water, your poll rates say 20%, are you in this for the duration? are you going to run into this headwind? >> okay, i am. polls in the off years don't
mean that much. i think two years ago, john mccain had very similar numbers. it's going to be a tough race, no doubt, both in the primary and general. we expected that. we will be prepared for it. >> now the central problem, you deal with it "conscious of a conservative q. i want to show you a clip from your colleague dean helder from yesterday that i am sure will go viral, talking about the failed attempt to repeal and replace obamacare. >> it obviously got in the middle of this health care battle. i feel real pleads at the way things are turning out. we are turning the page now to tax reform. >> he feels real pleased the way this turned out. do you feel pleased with the way this turned out and what'd that do to his credibility and actually the credibility of all republicans? >> i don't know the context or how or why that came out that way, but i would have hoped we could have given relief to
arizonians, 200,000 arizonians today will wake up without any health insurance. they would have paid the fine but can't afford the policy. that's got to change. i would have hoped we could have kept the reform alive. i think that's how deep voted as well. >> that's the credibility issue, people saying one thing, doing the other thing, then there is the confusion issue, your colleague john mccain blasted the president at the same time his buddy lindsey graham came on my show and said the president's rhetoric was exactly what was needed to get the attention of kim jong-un, what did you make of the president's rhetoric? >> well, no eb can argue what we have done in the past has been very successful in terms of arresting their nuclear program. so it's difficult to criticize the president now. it's not kind of lang i would use. he won back channel negotiations
to be going on. you want to be able work with them. but, like i said, nothing in the past has worked very well so, hopefully, something else can, because we got a bad situation there. >> you see, i think the american people like i. whether or not it's effective like lindsey graham believes it is. i think they have very authentic talk. do you think that's a part of trump's appeal? >> i do, i think people like that in a campaign he certainly hit a nerve with the way he spoke. whether that's effective, time will tell, certainly, with north korea. >> what do you make of. then i want to get to the conscience of conservatives specifics, but there is a boom in michigan for kid rock to run for the united states senate. the numbers are awfully good. he's probably the opposite of the kind of academic conservative that you are, the think tank conservative you are. what would you sa toy a kid rock candidacy? >> well, i hope we are able to pick up michigan.
it would be nights to have more republicans in the senate. but i don't know his politics. i haven't followed him that well. i like some of his music, but i can't speak for his politics, so i don't know. >> but he's authentic, these real, it's that splash the window attempt to change america by changing washington, d.c. does that connect with you at all? >> it certainly connects with some people. i think we've got to be a governing party. we got to be serious in that regard. but i just don't know enough about his politics, some people will have one persona certainly on stage, to be completely different if a political setting. so i don't want to judge in that way, we'll see if the campaign goes along, i'm sure it will be revealed quickly. >> senator the most surprising part of the conservatism was the discussion of tarp, the early days in the crisis. you write in the book that you
wished it had passed, you voted against it, it was an act of coward iceice, not of -- could orice, were you aware of that? >> the reason i was critical of politic, some politics of the president and others, and i thought i ought to be self critical as well and talk about what i did things that i wodon differently today. with regard to tarp, you know, i didn't play a role in you know bringing it about. i wasn't involved in some of the actions that you know repeal of grass stiegle, programs, that would be brought it on. having said that, i felt justified in voting against it. there was a big bailout. i don't like bailouts. nobody does, in the end, when the house failed to pass tarp and the stockmarket lost about 7% of its value if one day, i think we had little choice to do
what we did. >> senator -- >> so. >> what i'm trying to get at is, did you know at the time you voted against it, you should have been voted for snit because that's a problem with politics in america? >> yeah, i think i mentioned there is a phenomenon vote no, hope yes. >> yeah. >> and there's oftentimes when members of congress will say, well, man, i hope this passes, but i sure don't want to vote for it. i think i was in that camp, to be honest. >> did you campaign in 2012 -- in 2012, did you campaign on your tarp vote? >> no, i didn't. no. >> did you take advantage of that? >> no,ioral that at all. no so i mean this, nobody likes bailouts. i certainly don't. i felt justified because i hadn't played a role in it. but i can tell you, i was glad to see my colleagues do it and then i hope we got to get away
from that kind of politics. >> let me switch to the other surprising part of the conservatism. i read it. very interesting. i have to tell you, frederick hyack is not a founder. he doesn't count. in the book you talk about the corrosive effect of capitalism on castro's communism and that you applauded president obama. nothing has changed in cuba, senator, in fact, maduro's very despottic dictatorship is being propped up and guided in large part in response to the people in the street by rule of cast castro's thugs and his military. do you think there is a corrosive impact on communism going on because of the obama decision regarding cuba? >> you bet. you bet. nothing has changed with regard to the cuban government, with regard to what's happening in cuba much has changed, prior to president obama lifting the travel ban on cuban americans and allowing virtually
remittances to the island, i had very few entrepreneurs, people working outside of government. now, today, because of those decisions, about 25% of the work force in cuba is outside of the government sector, they're running bed and breakfasts, they're running private taxicab services, private restaurants, and that has very much changed the calculus in cuba. you have people experiences far more freedom than they did otherwise. very much has changed. not with the government, if terms of the freedom of the cuban people. that's a good thing, i always thought, you want to punish the castros, make them deal with spring break, why in the world would we punish americans and tell americans they can travel. >> let me close by talking immigration with you, it's a lot in the group. are you a part of the game of eight. are you proud of it. yesterday i hat kuhns and angus king and tom cotton and senator
purdue might do more to actually get an immigration reform done. do you know how many illegals were arrested on the border trying to cross in the month of july, senator? >> i don't know, very few. i was down on the border just earlier this week. >> 18,000. >> in the new gala sector, for example, in 2008, we had 60,000 caught and this year it's only 6,000. >> 18,000 people were arrested in july trying to cross into the united states. whatever we're doing, we're not doing it right. and i believe in a border fence. i think the president got elected on that. do you think the gang of eight made a mistake in excluding the invisible expression of an invisibility commitment from sovereignty about the bill. that's my last question about imgraition to you. >> let me tell you, with the gang of eight bill, we actually had money in there and money for
700 miles of fencing and barriers. those who have been on the border realize in some place, you need a wall, in some places a fence in some place the terrain doesn't lends itself to any type of physical bar yes, you need under surveillance because of the doesn't and the topography involved. we better much need better barriers and border fencing in some places and other places under surveillance t. gang of eight bill concluded a significant increase in terms of technology and infrastructure as well as man power at the border. so those who read that bill 744 realize there is a huge commitment to border infrastructure. >> thank you, senator flank, congratulation on conscience of a conservative. i read it. i hope other people do. when we return, the threat imposed by the iranian nuclear guard core, why we should be very, very concerned. comfortable you are in it.
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>> welcome back. dr. cory shockey is a research fellow at the hoover institution and co-author of "warriors and kids" with defense secretary james mattis. earlier he was asked by politico to make a recommendation on one book to read, she recommended "vanguard of the imam" religion and politics of the guard. assistant professor of the national security affairs at the naval post-graduate school. it is, indeed, a remarkable read. professor, welcome. it's great to have you here. i devoured it. i think it's an amazing book. i will put it up there with the looming tower. it takes us into the irgc, can
you briefly described the component parts the siege, can can you describe force. >> the irgc has a paramilitary, an air force, a lands force, has a naval force. it's a very large popular militia known as the besiege popular militia, which is an all volunteer force, mostly non-professional in the sense they're not paid. there is a smaller professional component that's militarized. as a special forces division called the colds force or the jerusalem force, which is in charge of all of the extra territory the foreign operations. >> how active have they been, especially in the last five years and in what theaters. they are commanded by a man, who is something of i believe he described them as a combination of shagavara and macarthur. >> yeah, he is iran's sort of war general outside of iran. so all of the foreign operations they are involved in, iraq,
syria, lebanon, yemen, he is sort of the architect of all of those operations. >> now, sulimani says syria is their red line. it appears to people like general mcmaster, they are attempting to build a highway from tehran to the sea and doing it from syria. is that sulimani's creation? >> no, it pre existed him. syria was, had been the only allie for iran during the iran-iraq war. iran has been incredibly ali alienated to the 1979 revolution, much to their own behavior, their own cause, kind of a self inflicted wound. syria has been a long lasting ilie, with iran, before sort of the '90s when sulimani took a tenure. since then, syria has been vital to iran's support for hezbollah
and lebanon, iran's pressure against israel, they see as the main enemy in the region. >> they have been acting in iraq and have been successful in sort of replacing the american foot print with an iranian foot print that happened after they have withdrawn, how deep is iran now with the iraqi government? >> they're very strong, that i have allies at the political level. but their main strength is at sort of the military level the pmu the popular militia units, which are the sort of popular component of the iraqi military. now, they're in an official institution now. many of the militias, the three-fifths of the organization are militias that were started by established by, funded by, and in many ways led by sulimani and the irgc. >> last night, president trump was asked, are the iranians honoring the agreement that president obama entered into
them. in vanguard of i ma'am, he said they're not hop norring the spirit. general mcmaster said this last week on this show, do you think the iranians are honoring the spirit of that agreement? >> i think in some ways the spirit is the wrong what i to look at it. we talk about the spirit t. iranians talk about the spirit. we both disagree of what the spirit of the agreement was. so to my feeling, there is no spirit to the agreement. it's an agreement it has vague language. it has specific language, it's in these those that they disagree with what the spirit is. so if you can't agree with the spirit. the spirit in some ways doesn't exist. they have certainly done behavior, ballistic missile launches in particular and harassing u.s. naval forces in the persian gulf, also, sort of activity off the coast of yemen, which we blamed on iran's allies in yemen and sort of by extension iran, itself, that certainly doesn't correspond
with a major sort of, not detaunt, but a major political agreement between the two countries. >> are those naval forces irgc controlled? >> yeah. >> i asked general mcmasters, there are rules of engagement. are they trying to provoke that? >> no, they are trying to harass us, probe red lines. i think they are trying to show a resolve they are going to be sort of in our face. they will be a nuisance so long as we are operating in the persian gulf. what the irxc wants to achieve more than anything is for u.s. forces to leave the middle east. they want them out of the persian gulf, out of iraq, out of the arab states. >> you know what vanguard of the imam does is create historical clarity, how enduring it is, how deep it is, how it will not go anywhere? right. >> do you think americans are ready for this sort of? it's a giant conflict of which we are a small part, between the sunni, the israelis and iranian
shia? do you think we are up to speed on this? >> i think in some ways we're naive into thinking we can affect it too much. i think the competition between iran and its neighbors an even turkey, to a lesser extent, is a regional competition that is really below our ra dark, i think american foreign policy can do so much. one of the biggest problems in american punditry and policy making, even in the middle east, and in their state sort of decision-making, is that the united states can do a lot to solve the middle east problems. i mean from my perspective, the middle east problems begin and end with the behavior of middle east states, towards each other and towards their own population. >> we have a minute and-and-a-half, vanguard of the imam, everyone should read it. when he dies, you wrote this is a central problem, what happens when he dies, does irgc take
over the state? >> i think that's a good question. one of the narratives that's out there, does the irgc already control the iranian state? i argue they doempblt where they have outside influence is iran's strategic behavior, ballistic missile program, and the foreign policy in the middle east. what it does in iraq, syria, yemen, what the united states cares about, that's what the irgc is very much involved in. if the supreme leader dies, the irgc has a decision to make. >> that decision is going to be, are they going to get greedy and push for more control over iranian decision-making, written large, both the message -- >> sulimani, perhaps? >> no, i am convinced, sulimani would not advance that position. the pain reason, he is well liked. on both sides, by, he's very much a national character.
this is sort of why macarthur, right? he has that. he cannot replace sulimani, the replacement must be a shared cleric. >> doctor, a terrific book. thank you for joining me. when we return, hugh's news. shawn evans: it's 6 am. 40 million americans are waking up to a gillette shave. and at our factory in boston, 1,200 workers are starting their day building on over a hundred years of heritage, craftsmanship and innovation.
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willing, that goal will be achieved. >> let's all hope that the same result as occurred in 1962, american security without resort to war obtains 55 years later. thanks for watching today. keep the conversation going on ms nbc.com/hughhewitt. i will see you next week on saturday morning on ms nbc. rethink your allergy pills. flonase sensimist allergy relief uses unique mistpro technology and helps block 6 key inflammatory substances with a gentle mist. most allergy pills only block one. and 6 is greater than one. rethink your allergy relief. flonase sensimist. ♪ so find a venus smooth that contours to curves, the smoother the skin, the more comfortable you are in it.
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>> good morning, everyone, i'm alex witt here. at the half hour, here's what we are watching for you. we begin with breaking news, new reaction from north korea amid rising tensions with its neighbors and the u.s. the associated press citing state-run news in north korea saying the trump administration quote had better talk and act properly if it did not want the american empire to meet its tragic doom. this statement comes after presidum